ASCL comment on school funding update

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on confirmation of school funding allocations for 2023-24.
“While we welcome this settlement and improved education funding in recent years, this comes after years of real-terms cuts. Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, shows that school funding per pupil in 2024 will only be at about the same level as in 2010, while colleges will still be receiving 10% less, and sixth forms 23% less. The squeeze on education funding over the past decade has resulted in schools and colleges having to make very significant cutbacks to provision.
“Furthermore, the settlement for 2023-24 does not remotely take into account the huge inflationary pressures which schools and colleges are now experiencing. We are hearing reports of energy bills being increased by 300% or more. Many settings have also continued to face Covid cost pressures in using supply staff to cover for absence. They also face the prospect of having to absorb the cost of pay awards from existing budgets. It is increasingly inevitable that many will have to make further cutbacks to provision.
“The government has short-changed education for many years and, unfortunately, that has left the sector in a very difficult financial situation.”